Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 23 February 2015

By Patrick von Sychowski | February 23, 2015 5:57 pm PST

Imax’s quarterly earnings were down slightly, but ahead of Wall Street’s expectations. The company said that it is focusing on international expansion and expects to cross 1,000 screens this year.

IMAX Corporation signaled that international markets will be an ongoing focus in the years ahead as it announced fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday.

The Canadian company reported fourth quarter revenues of $102.4 million, down from $105 million during the same period in 2013.

Net income also took a dip in 2014, with the company reporting $22.5 million for the year compared to $27.8 million in 2013, while full-year 2014 revenues were $290.5 million compared to $287.9 million the year before.  LINK

American sniper

A troubling finding about Americans’ attitudes to movies in the cinema and at home, based on a CBS poll. The good news is that the younger demographic leans more towards cinema than the older, though only slightly.

2014 marked the lowest box office take for Hollywood in nearly two decades — a fact borne out by a recent CBS News poll, in which Americans, by a wide majority, say they watch more movies at home than at the theatre.

According to the poll, 84 percent of Americans say they watch more movies on a small screen at home, while just 4 percent say they watch more movies on a big screen at the theater. Ten percent say they watch about the same amount equally.

In fact, Americans say they prefer the small screen. A majority of 57 percent find watching a movie on a small screen at home to be more enjoyable, while just 36 percent say they prefer taking in a big-screen experience.  LINK

Fun cinemas

India – Cinepolis has confirmed its acquisition of Fun Cinemas. No update on the PVR-Sathyam deal.

In line with its vision to operate 400 screens by 2017, Mexican multiplex operator Cinepolis has announced the purchase of 100 per cent of the share equity capital in Mumbai based Fun Cinemas (E-City Ventures), a subsidiary of Essel Group, a leading business conglomerate having diverse business presence across media, entertainment, packaging, infrastructure, education, precious metals and technology sectors.

With this acquisition, Cinepolis’ screen count in India has risen to 193, across 41 multiplexes and 31 cities. This makes the Mexican multiplex major as the 3rd Largest Multiplex operator in India in terms of revenues. Fun Cinemas has a total of 83 screens across 24 properties. This is the first acquisition of Cinepolis in India since it started its operations in 2009.  LINK

Parkway Theatre

USA (PA) – A look at how repertory cinemas are staging a small comeback in the hipsterville of the US east: Pittsburgh.

Thirty years later, however, repertory cinema, at least in the Pittsburgh region, seems to be staging something of a comeback. Probably not since the pre-home-video epoch have moviegoers had so many opportunities to see old movies on the big screen within an easy drive of Washington and Greene counties. Not unlike the return of vinyl to music stores, something that was believed to be on the cusp of extinction has been given a fresh lease on life.

“Every (multiplex) shows new releases,” said Brian Mendelssohn, a developer and founder of the Row House Cinema in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood. “But there are a lot of new releases that are really bad.”

Row House Cinema, which opened last summer, has embraced the revival house format the most aggressively. In its short life, it’s offered retrospectives of revered directors like Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg, classics like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Blade Runner” and quality films of more recent vintage, such as the Oscar nominees “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Ida.”  LINK

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades
Move along, nothing to see here.

Zimbabwe – It seems like the censors in Zimbabwe left too little of “Fifty Shades” for people to want to see.

Zimbabweans going to the movies had to watch a tame version of “Fifty Shades of Grey” after censors ordered an edit of the film adaption of the bestselling erotic novel. Now the film has been removed by movie distributors who say the edits hack away too much of the story.

The censors demanded that erotic scenes from the R-rated drama be deleted before it is shown in the southern African country.  LINK

USA (CO) – A week after a drive-in cinema shows “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “The SpongeBob Movie” on two adjaecent screen a cinema in Colorado goes one better and mixes them up.

Parents in a Colorado cinema were left flustered after taking their children to see the new SpongeBob film – only for Fifty Shades of Grey to start showing instead.

Even better, the incident happened in a city called Loveland.

The 11.45am screening for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water on Monday (February 16) began showing the beginning of the erotic drama, before it was replaced with trailers for kids’ films.   LINK

UK – Another allegedly drunk and disorderly woman at a screening of “Fifty Shades” in the UK. Not in Scotland but in Essex (London’s equivalent of The Valley in LA, for readers in the US).

A woman watching bondage blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey got more than she bargained for – when she was led away in HANDCUFFS.

Things got heated at a packed screening of the 18-rated sizzler between two cinema-goers.

And 22-year-old Amy Murray was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly and assault.  LINK


Cinema audience

USA – From the author of “Flicker: Your Brain on Movies”, an interesting article about the neuroscience of cinema.

Why do we flinch when Rocky takes a punch in Sylvester Stallone’s movies, duck when the jet careens towards the tower in Airplane, and tap our toes to the dance numbers in Chicago or Moulin Rouge? With this year’s Academy Awards upon us, we want to know what happens between your ears when you sit down in the theatre and the lights go out. Take a look at some of the ways our brains work when watching a movie—you may just find some of them to be all too familiar. LINK


Thomas Schülke UCI

Germany – The head of Marketing and Acquisition for UCI Kinowelt in Germany is stepping down.

Thomas Schulke, the marketing of UCI cinema world was also responsible for the purchase of film since 1996 in Germany and Austria and since 2000, has decided to leave the company at the end of June. “Over 20 years of UCI cinema world were a fantastic experience and great fun. Now it’s time to give life a new direction and again try new things. However, this exciting industry I want preserved,” said Schulke.  LINK

Cinema Opening/Closings

Majestic King's Lynn

UK – Plans to double the number of screens at the Majestic in King’s Lynn look set to go ahead.

Owners PDJ Management received planning permission to put up a four storey extension on to the Tower Street cinema to accommodate three extra screens.

The owners are due to be submitting another planning application shortly to alter the current structure of the listed building.

The cinema currently has three screens but is hoping to increase this to six or seven.  LINK

Micro cinema

Germany – The “Movie Star” cinema in Guestrower Eisenbahnstraße has a new addition. The first film playing will be “Into the Woods”.

It is a “sofa cinema” with 11 double beds and can accommodate 22 visitors. The result of this fourth projection room of the “Cinestars” upstairs in the last 14 days is a part of the foyer. With only 22 seats in the new cinema bring Although no large increase in visitor numbers above it is Silvio Verführt, owner of the “Movie Stars” in mind. “But it’s not about the amount, but about the variety. We have tried to get the character of a small club cinemas down. On the chair now come pillows. And at every seat is a storage area for drinks and before a stool on which you can put your legs, “he says. On the six meter screen “ordinary, run-run movies that would not get as many visitors in great room” should, says Verführt.  LINK

Inox cinema

India – Inox has opened a new multiplex.

INOX Leisure has commenced commercial operation of new Multiplex Cinema Theatre situated at 3rd Floor, Jyoti Mall, Opposite Zilla Parishat, Bellary Road, Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh, having 3 screens and 888 seats from February 23, 2015.

INOX along with Satyam Cineplexes is now present in 94 multiplexes & 365 screens in 51 cities and a total seating capacity of 96994 across India.  LINK



New York photographer Weegee was famed for his crime scene photos in the tabloid newspapers in the 1940s. The newly opened Chelsea Bow Tie Cinema is showcasing a collection of his less known photographs taken in cinemas during the same time, using infra red film. Spooky and fascinating.

“The photographs are part of a series Weegee made in New York City theaters in the mid-1940s with infrared film. From bemused children to entwined couples, lonely sleepers to exhilarated teenage girls, this gallery of portraits constitutes a powerful, unique, and moving tribute to cinema lovers. The passion conveyed in these images—their lyricism, magic, and poetry—remind us of the quintessential role played by the arts, and s pecifically still and moving images, in our society.” LINK

Patrick von Sychowski
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